Some people could eat steamed asparagus and butter every day. Now that the season for young tender asparagus spears has arrived, they have their chance. However, there are others who love asparagus but prefer variety. For them, here are seven sauces from around the world that allow for an entire week of asparagus without repeating a recipe.

Begin on Monday with a refreshing asparagus salad from Scandinavia that is topped by a chunky, pale-yellow sauce with tangy mustard and fresh dill.

On Tuesday, dine on a first course from France of asparagus napped with a sherry vinegar cream.

Have a hearty paprika, roasted pepper and parsley sauce from Spain, ideal for dipping succulent asparagus spears, on Wednesday.

For Thursday, try a piquant garlic and chili-oil sauce from China's Sichuan province.

Prepare Japanese soy-sake marinated asparagus, topped with a fragrant trio of golden-brown sesame seeds, delicate pink pickled ginger and crisp roasted nori (seaweed) strips on Friday.

On Saturday, celebrate with a zesty Mexican ancho chili sauce, tempered with refreshing sour cream and tangy cilantro, that is an ideal dipping sauce for asparagus.

Finish the week on Sunday with a dish from close to home, asparagus with fresh crab in a sherry shallot beurre blanc from Maryland's Eastern Shore. ASPARAGUS WITH MUSTARD DILL SAUCE (4 servings) 1 pound fresh asparagus 1 sprig fresh dill for garnish FOR THE MUSTARD DILL SAUCE: 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dijon mustard 3 hard-cooked eggs, whites finely chopped, yolks reserved 2 tablespoons cider vinegar 4 tablespoons walnut oil 3 tablespoons whipping cream 2 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh dill 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Cut the base of the asparagus stalks where the woody section begins, aligning the tips before cutting, or snap stalks where they break naturally. Peel stalks if desired.

Blanch asparagus in gently boiling water for 2 to 4 minutes, or steam for 3 to 4 minutes until tender-crisp.

Drain asparagus and plunge into ice water to stop cooking. Dry well on clean tea towels. Store wrapped in paper towels in a plastic bag in the crisper. Asparagus may be steamed one day before serving if desired.

For the sauce: In a small bowl mash the mustard and hard-cooked egg yolks together with the back of a small spoon until a smooth paste is formed.

Gradually whisk in the cider vinegar, walnut oil and cream. Stir in the fresh dill, salt, pepper and 3 to 4 tablespoons finely chopped egg white. Reserve extra white to garnish each plate. Taste and adjust seasonings. The sauce should be quite strong since the asparagus will diminish the flavor. Refrigerate the sauce overnight if desired.

Serve asparagus and sauce at room temperature. Place 1/4 of the asparagus spears on each plate and spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons sauce over the center of each bundle. Garnish with a bit of chopped white and a tiny piece of dill. Serve as a salad or first course, and pass remaining sauce separately. Leftover sauce will keep refrigerated for 4 to 5 days. ASPARAGUS WITH SHERRY VINEGAR CREAM (4 servings) 1 pound fresh asparagus FOR THE SHERRY VINEGAR CREAM: 1 tablespoon meaux moutarde (grainy mustard) 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 3/4 cup whipping cream (not ultra-pasteurized)

Cut the base of the asparagus stalks where the woody section begins, aligning the tips before cutting, or snap stalks where they break naturally. Peel stalks if desired.

Blanch asparagus in gently boiling water for 2 to 4 minutes, or steam for 3 to 4 minutes until tender-crisp.

Drain asparagus and plunge into ice water to stop cooking. Dry completely on clean tea towels. Store wrapped in paper towels in the crisper. Asparagus may be steamed one day before serving if desired.

For the sauce: In a small bowl whisk the meaux moutarde, salt, sherry vinegar and pepper together.

Drizzle the cream into the sherry vinegar mixture, whisking constantly until the consistency of whipped cream. Taste and adjust seasonings. Refrigerate overnight if desired.

Nap the room-temperature asparagus with 2 tablespoons of sauce and pass additional sauce. Garnish asparagus with freshly ground black pepper. Serve as a first course or salad. Leftover sauce will keep 2 to 3 days refrigerated. ASPARAGUS WITH PARSLEY PEPPER SAUCE (4 servings) 1 pound fresh asparagus FOR THE PARSLEY PEPPER SAUCE: 2 cloves garlic 3 anchovies 1 egg yolk 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 2 teaspoons paprika 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 3/4 cup corn oil 3 tablespoons finely chopped roasted peppers, dried lightly on paper towels 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Cut the base of the asparagus stalks where the woody section begins, aligning the tips before cutting, or snap stalks where they break naturally. Peel if desired.

Blanch asparagus in gently boiling water for 2 to 4 minutes or steam for 3 to 4 minutes until tender-crisp.

Drain asparagus and plunge into ice water to stop cooking. Dry completely on clean tea towels. Store wrapped in paper towels in a plastic bag in the crisper. Asparagus may be steamed one day before serving if desired.

For the sauce: In the work bowl of the food processor with the steel blade, mince the garlic. Add the anchovies and pure'e. Add the yolk, red wine vinegar, paprika and black pepper, and process with on/off turns.

With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the oil until an emulsion forms and the sauce thickens. The sauce may also be made by hand, by whisking the oil into the vinegar, yolk and seasonings.

Place the sauce in a small bowl, and stir in the roasted peppers, onion and parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings. The sauce should be quite strong, since the asparagus will diminish the flavor.

Serve the asparagus room temperature, napped with 1 to 2 tablespoons sauce, chilled or room temperature. Pass remaining sauce. Serve as a salad, first course or hors d'oeuvre. To serve as an appetizer, place a small bowl with the sauce in the center of a tray, and arrange asparagus in a sunburst around dip. Leftover sauce will keep refrigerated 4 to 5 days. SICHUAN ASPARAGUS WITH GARLIC AND GINGER (4 servings) 1 pound fresh asparagus 2 to 3 scallions, white part thinly sliced diagonally FOR THE SICHUAN MARINADE: 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger 3 cloves minced fresh garlic (about 1 tablespoon) 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional) 1/4 teaspoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground roasted sichuan peppercorns (available in oriental markets)* 2 tablespoons rice vinegar 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari sauce (available in oriental markets) 1/2 teaspoon sesame chili oil or to taste* 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes

Cut the base of the asparagus stalks where the woody section begins, aligning the tips before cutting, or snap stalks where they break naturally. Peel if desired.

Blanch asparagus in gently boiling water for 2 to 4 minutes or steam for 3 to 4 minutes until tender-crisp.

Drain asparagus and plunge into ice water to stop cooking. Dry completely on clean tea towels. Store wrapped in paper towels in a plastic bag in the crisper. Asparagus may be steamed one day before serving if desired.

For the marinade: Mash the ginger, garlic, salt, sugar and ground roasted sichuan peppercorns together with a mortar and pestle, or with the tip of a sharp knife on a cutting board, until a paste is formed.

Place the paste in a small bowl and stir in a bit at a time the rice vinegar, tamari sauce, sesame chili oil and hot pepper flakes.

Pour the marinade over the asparagus and marinate at room temperature for 2 hours. Turn asparagus occasionally to coat with marinade.

Just before serving, sprinkle the top of the asparagus with slivered scallions and serve at room temperature. Serve as a salad with grilled chicken, whole pork tenderloin or steak.

* Sichuan peppercorns are about the same size as regular peppercorns and red-brown in color. Roast or heat in a heavy saute' pan with no fat over medium heat for about 10 minutes until dark brown. Grind in a mill, or pulverize until a fine, even powder. Store covered at room temperature indefinitely in a small container.Adapted from the "Inter-Continental Gourmet Cookbook" THREE-TOPPED ASPARAGUS (4 servings) 1 pound fresh asparagus 3 to 4 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds 2 tablespoons pickled ginger, sliced 1/16 inch wide 1/4 sheet roasted nori, julienned 2-by- 1/8-inch FOR THE SOY SAKE MARINADE: 1/4 cup soy sauce 3 tablespoons mirin (available in oriental markets) 3 tablespoons sugar 4 tablespoons water 2 tablespoons sake (available in oriental markets) 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (available in oriental markets)

Cut the base of the asparagus stalks where the woody section begins, aligning the tips before cutting, or snap stalks where they break naturally. Peel stalks if desired.

Blanch asparagus in gently boiling water for 2 to 4 minutes, or steam for 3 to 4 minutes until tender-crisp.

Drain asparagus and plunge into ice water to stop cooking. Dry completely on clean tea towels. Store, wrapped in paper towels, in the crisper. Asparagus may be steamed one day before serving if desired.

For the marinade: In a wide-mouth saucepan, boil the soy sauce, mirin, sugar and water for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, to reduce sauce. Add the sake and rice vinegar and boil 1 minute, until slightly syrupy and thickened.

Put the asparagus in a non-metallic dish and pour the warm marinade over it. Marinate for two hours at room temperature, turning asparagus several times to coat with marinade. Do not leave asparagus in marinade too long, or sauce will become watery.

Just before serving, sprinkle the asparagus with the toasted sesame seeds. Arrange the pickled ginger over the center of the bundle of asparagus and sprinkle the nori around the edge of the pickled ginger. Serve as a salad at room temperature. ASPARAGUS WITH ANCHO CREAM AND CILANTRO (4 servings) 1 pound fresh asparagus 8 cilantro leaves for garnish FOR THE ANCHO CREAM: 1 medium dried ancho chili (available in Spanish markets) 1 small garlic clove 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon cumin Pinch cloves 1/2 cup sour cream 1/4 cup mayonnaise 2 to 3 teaspoons minced cilantro (available in Spanish markets)

Cut the base of the asparagus stalks where the woody section begins, aligning the tips before cutting, or snap stalks where they break naturally. Peel stalks if desired.

Blanch asparagus in gently boiling water for 2 to 4 minutes, or steam for 3 to 4 minutes until tender-crisp.

Drain asparagus and plunge into ice water to stop cooking. Dry well on clean tea towels. Store wrapped in paper towels in a plastic bag in the crisper. Asparagus may be steamed one day before serving if desired.

Break the dried ancho chili apart and remove stem and seeds. Place chili in a small pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Simmer covered for 5 minutes, remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Drain chili, peel and discard skin, and mash flesh until smooth. There should be about 3 tablespoons chili.

Mash the garlic and salt together with the point of a sharp knife to form a smooth paste.

In a small bowl stir the chili, garlic, salt, cumin and cloves together. Gradually stir in the sour cream and mayonnaise. Stir in cilantro. Taste and adjust seasonings. Refrigerate overnight if desired.

Serve as a first course or appetizer with the ancho cream as a dip. For a first course, serve 1/4 of asparagus per person at room temperature and nap each bundle with 1 to 2 tablespoons sauce, lightly chilled or room temperature. Garnish with whole cilantro leaves. Pass remaining sauce. Leftover sauce can be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days. ASPARAGUS WITH CRAB SHALLOT SAUCE (4 first-course servings) FOR THE CRAB SHALLOT SAUCE: 3 tablespoons minced shallots 1 teaspoon dried tarragon or 2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon 1/4 cup dry white wine 1/4 cup medium sweet sherry 1/2 cup whipping cream (not ultra-pasteurized) 1/4 pound (8 tablespoons) chilled butter, cut into 8 pieces 1/8 teaspoon salt (optional) 1/8 teaspoon white pepper Generous pinch cayenne 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley 3/4 cup backfin crab meat, picked clean (about 4 ounces) FOR THE ASPARAGUS 1 pound fresh asparagus 1 teaspoon paprika

For the sauce: Simmer the shallots, tarragon, wine and sherry uncovered over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes until liquid is reduced to 1 to 2 tablespoons and shallots are softened.

Add the cream and simmer, stirring often, until reduced by half.

Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in butter, a few pieces at a time, until an emulsion forms and the sauce has thickened.

Stir in salt, pepper, cayenne, parsley and crab meat. Taste and adjust seasonings. Keep warm in double boiler over very low heat, stirring occasionally.

Cut the base of the asparagus stalks where the woody section begins, aligning the tips before cutting, or snap stalks where they break naturally. Peel if desired.

Blanch asparagus in gently boiling water for 2 to 4 minutes, or steam for 3 to 4 minutes until tender-crisp.

Drain asparagus very well and serve warm on heated plates, napped with 3 to 4 tablespoons crab sauce. Sprinkle a fine line of paprika across the center of each bunch of asparagus before serving. Serve immediately.